Irish drone delivery startup Manna raises €20.6 million to scale internationally & expand R&D

Today Manna, a food delivery startup based in Ireland announces a €20.6 Series A led by Draper Esprit, with participation from Team Europe, DST Global, and with participation from existing investors Dynamo Ventures, Atlantic Bridge, and Elkstone.

Founded in 2018, Manna builds and operates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which perform high-speed deliveries of takeaway food, groceries and pharmacy goods/supplies of up to 3kgs (6.5lbs) in suburban last-mile settings.

Autonomous delivery enables a single Manna employee managing multiple drones to operate almost 20 deliveries per hour, which the startup state is 10 times the number that can be done with traditional road-based delivery. The service is quieter, greener, faster, respects privacy and is safer than road-based alternatives.

The company is currently trialing its service in Galway, Ireland, representing the largest drone delivery trial of its kind globally. The drone hub supports over 100 takeaway deliveries a day directly to the homes of the nearly 10,000 residents of the town, and has been a huge success with more than 30% of the population already using the high-speed service.

Manna has also signed partnerships with major brands and retailers, including JustEat, Samsung, Ben & Jerry’s and Tesco plc – one of the largest grocery retailers in Europe – making 3-minute delivery time to catchment areas as large as 50 square kilometers a reality.

Bobby Healy, CEO & founder of Manna, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic forced consumers across the world to re-assess how they source their goods and opened our eyes to the fragility of our supply chains. There is a huge appetite for a greener, quieter, safer and faster delivery service, and we’re excited to use this fresh round of funding to expand operations and offer our service to even more customers. We are already working with our partners to deliver grocery products, takeaways and pharmaceutical supplies, and as we continue to scale our fleet of drones we will also begin supporting critical medical deliveries.”

Nicola McClafferty, Partner at Draper Esprit, added: “We are committed to supporting companies that have the potential to change how we live and Manna is a true example of this. Drones will play a key role in building a long term and sustainable delivery infrastructure for communities around the world and Manna is already making that a reality. We are thrilled and privileged to be supporting Bobby and the Manna team as they create the future of food delivery.”

Lukasz Gadowski, co-founder of Team Europe and also co-founder of Delivery Hero added: “With real customers and real deliveries already in place today, Manna has demonstrated the perfect model for drone delivery of takeout food, and I’m super-excited to see them expand and scale. The future is being rewritten and Manna are the clear leaders in this nascent space.